To what extent does culture (i.e. arts and entertainment) affect how people view nature or ‘the environment’?
Nature is not ‘immediate’ – she needs time to grow, time to heal, time to be appreciated and understood. Yet, for many people, their most available culture (‘popular’ culture) is all about the Now – if it looks to the past or the future, it measures it in days or weeks, not years or decades. Does this then influence their attitude to the environment?
It’s a pretty interesting question, and I’m sure the answer is mighty complicated. There would be some effect from nationality, racial background and possibly gender (as these things can sometimes determine what cultural elements you are mostly exposed to or ‘wired’ for), but the answer goes beyond that – not all ‘women’ think the same, not all ‘Australians’ think the same, and not all ‘English men’ think the same. Continue reading
A recent study suggests that people are more likely to buy ‘green’ or eco-friendly products to foster a personal image of superiority or prestige, rather than because they actually care about the environment. That’s not a ridiculous notion, considering what else humans will do for kudos (think Balloon Boy’s father).
The rise of equality and the increase in invincible and overly-capable technology has created an animal (Homo sapiens) desperate for individuality and recognition. Anything from food, (no longer just an essential accessory to survival!), to reality television is grasped by those in need with the steely grip of exhibitionism. And the latest necessary label is Green.
This produces an ironic concept. ‘The environment’ really does need attention. Unfortunately, a large proportion of the population aren’t genuinely understanding or concerned about it. Yet it seems many of these people ARE concerned about what others think of them. So, with a bit of emotional blackmail, this demographic is convinced that their prestige will increase if they take on a label they don’t fully understand or care about. And thus ‘the environment’ benefits.
What does this imply about a) environmental awareness and b) human behaviour??
© Manu Saunders 2010